Monday, September 1, 2008

Entrances and Exits

I've always been fascinated by hospitals and airports. It sounds random , I know, but I think I've figured out their common attraction for me. They are both places where people are making entrances and exits. Both are usually vulnerable times of change when deep things--good or bad--can happen inside of a person.

I've been going through a lot of entrances and exits in my own life the last couple of years--mainly in my family. I remember 3 years ago at Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, when my husband announced to me that it would probably be the last time our family all celebrated together because of the ages of our children. My heart sank. He was right. Our oldest daughter was getting married and our next daughter was starting college. Even though we still had two younger children who would be at home for several years, I had to get used to the idea that everyone being present for holidays wasn't a sure thing anymore.

Although a lot of the releasing I've done in my mothering the last few years has been with a heavy heart to begin with, I'm finding that each exit brings new entrances with it. Exit: My daughter gets married. Entrance: I gain a fabulous son-in-law who makes our family so much fun. Exit: My second daughter leaves home for college. Entrance: A new dimension to our relationship where we sneak away to do lunch sometimes, or chat over a cup of coffee. With every successful release there is a growing appreciation and sense of awe at how faithful God is to help me and my husband raise healthy adult children. I'm getting more comfortable with the rhythm of children coming and going. I am excited for them as they go out to experience new jobs, new places, etc. and I am equally as thrilled when they visit home to tell me all about it.

I guess our home has become more like a landing strip for our older children. They've taken off in a sense, but they make regular return visits.

As I've watched my children fly after their high aspirations I find that I am also inspired to pick back up some of my own deferred dreams. Seeing their courage to face life inspires me to want to do the same in certain areas of my own life. My kids cheer me on in these areas and tell me they are proud of me when I take a risk. Once again, I marvel at the wonderful irony. Somehow these precious children who I'm learning to release are the very ones who are helping to release me into the next chapter of my life!

So fly, Hannah! Fly, Abby! You go, girls! I'm right behind you!

1 comment:

Rachel said...

I feel a bit of these same feelings sending Olivia off to middle school today. (not the same as marriage and college, of course.) It's hard for me to "let go", but know it's getting closer and closer. I had tears in my eyes as I drove her to school today to which she says, "I'm not graduating from high school, Mom." Not yet, but this is just one step closer. I guess it's days like today that prepare us for the day they do graduate and marry and leave the nest. Baby steps for this mama!

I can't tell you how happy I am that she and Deborah are in the same home room. :)